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The Big Bad Wolf or Symbol of the American Wilderness?

Gray Wolf Reintroduction in Idaho



Co Authors:

Morgan Gray
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
University of California, Berkeley
morgan.gray@berkeley.edu

Mario K. Klip
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
University of California, Berkeley

Alex R. Krohn
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
University of California, Berkeley

Ryan A. Marsh
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
University of California, Berkeley

Leslie A. McGinnis
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
University of California, Berkeley

Abstract:

Students enrolled in natural resource programs typically have classroom experience in science-based curricula with little exposure as to how to apply that science to real-life issues. This case study was designed to introduce students to understanding the policy ramifications of science and to provide an opportunity for them to make management decisions based on that understanding. The case follows the reintroduction of gray wolves to the Western United States, with an emphasis on Idaho and California.  Students begin by reading a general introductory handout and then proceed to a role-playing exercise involving three stakeholder groups: hunters, ranchers, or environmental enthusiasts. Each group is provided with a second handout and a video clip specific to their viewpoint. Intergroup and intragroup discussion ensures that students come away with a nuanced understanding of a complex issue. A PowerPoint presentation is also included to help run the case in class. Although designed for use in an upper division undergraduate- or graduate-level environmental science course, the case is also appropriate for courses in conservation biology, wildlife management, or environmental ethics.

Objectives:
  • Create a cohesive position statement in a group, even though the position may be contrary to one's personal feelings.
  • Collaboratively transcend disciplines and include multiple, differing perspectives to make a management recommendation based on more than traditional natural sciences approaches.
  • Apply information from a well-studied case in Idaho to an emergent wolf-management case in California.
  • Distinguish between the social and scientific aspects of wildlife management implementation.
  • Understand the challenges of integrating values from differing discourses in a complex socio-ecological system.
Keywords: Wolf; wolves; gray wolf; Canis lupus; Endangered Species Act; ESA; rancher; hunter; environmentalist; public opinion; environmental ethics; Idaho; California
Topical Area: Ethics, Legal issues, Policy issues, Regulatory issues, Science and the media, Social issues, Social justice issues
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Graduate
Formats: PDF, PowerPoint
Type/Method: Analysis (Issues), Debate, Dilemma/Decision, Discussion, Public Hearing, Role-Play
Language: English
Subject Headings: Wildlife Management   Natural Resource Management   Ecology   Environmental Science   Biology (General)   Sociology   Interdisciplinary Sciences  
Date Posted: 1/9/2014
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

Teaching Notes


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Supplemental Materials


A PowerPoint presentation titled "Overview Presentation" (use the link below to access it) is available which instructors can use to provide an introduction and background to the case.

  Overview Presentation



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